Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Sunday, February 5, 2017

PETITION CALLING FOR UK TO APOLOGIZE FOR BALFOUR FAILS



If you were wondering what happened to the petition to Parliament, sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, to urge that representative body to formally apologize, for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which declared that what is now Israel, as the ancient home of the Jewish People, should be given them, as their historical birthright, I will update you. The Balfour Declaration also wisely protected the rights of other religious groups, and minorities, within the region.

 The petition only secured 12% of the necessary signatures, and Parliament was not required to consider it. Most observers regarded the petition as a purely political tactic, bereft of legal or historical authority. The Ottoman Empire, which had occupied much of the Middle East for centuries, and held the region in 1917, also had no legal claim, and waived it in the peace treaty. Arabs, originally from Arabia who had migrated to the area in recent years, have no prior claim to that confirmed by the Balfour Declaration, regarding the Jewish rights.

The Balfour Declaration, which was later incorporated into post-World War I peace treaties, and ratified by the League of Nations, was adopted by the United Nations, as the successor to the League.

While there was originally some concern, that the petition might raise risk levels in the Middle East, especially regarding the conduct of business, by UK nationals, in the area, the controversy seems to have dissipated. UK compliance officers, who feared that there might be retribution against British economic interests, financial institutions, or its nationals, as the result of the celebration of 100 years since Balfour, and the petition, are, fortunately, not seeing any such actions.

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